WP4 Architecture

2014-05-22 11.53.51


ITRACT WorkPackage 4, “Information Architecture and exchange mechanisms”, is focused on realizing an ICT platform which can be used by pilot projects as a basis for their implementation. This platform should provide sufficient flexibility, to accommodate for the wide variety of requirements and of existing systems. 

Existing systems for example provide bus or taxi services, they are ‘service providers’, ‘S’ in the picture. Customers, ‘C’ in the picture, use these services and will wish to use a variety of ways of interacting. Such ‘channels’ will for example include a web browser, a smartphone or a tablet and the platform should thus support multiple frontends. Note that channels need not always support a human interface, there will also be interfaces with physical devices, like GPS trackers and other sensors. Consumers might for example choose to carpool, making the car driver also a ‘service producer’ – such users could be called ‘prosumers’, ‘P’ in the picture. Consumers require quick replies from systems, but some service providers might not provide real-time interfaces for certain services. 

The central platform should therefore also provide storage, amongst others to be able to act as ‘stand-in’ for those services. A consumer might require a service that is not supplied by one single supplier, but is actually a combination of a number of services, for example carpooling to a train stop and sharing a taxi when leaving the train. To accommodate this, the central platform should provide ‘orchestration’ by combining several existing services to create new ones. The large blue rectangle in the picture is the central platform. It contains a number of facilities, including the central storage and the orchestration mentioned earlier, one or more ‘portals’ that provide the interfaces for the channels and a central ‘bus’-like structure that provides the communication to all service providers. WorkPackage 4 will deliver the central platform and its interfaces, so effectively all the blue parts in the picture.

 The first activities of WorkPackage 4 include an analysis of the requirements of the various Regions and an analysis of the available existing systems in the Regions and their maturity. The next step is the ICT implementation of the platform, which will be based on an event and service based architecture. The platform will be created in a iterative approach, to allow alternatives to be tried out and to encourage a learning atmosphere, which is necessary in an innovative project like ITRACT. WorkPackage 4 will support the users of the platform with a helpdesk facility and will analyze the pilots to assess and improve the platform. All activities will be documented, progress will be logged and lessons learnt will be documented in a Best Practice Guide

In June 2012 5 groups of Hanzehogeschool students each did a project for ITRACT. They all did some research and each group produced a demonstrator, a platform with two user front ends, a website and a mobile app.

 

The projects delivered useful information, amongst others for the Data Maturity Model, and a few nice demonstrators. The results are on ProjectPlace, in the folder

            / Working folders per WP / WP4 / WP41_Architecture_description / WP412_Details / WP4121_Iteration_1

The I1_Group* folders contain their results. Each folder also contains a ReadMe text explaining what they did and referencing the most relevant documents. The folders also contain a ZIP file with all documents the teams created plus a ZIP file with the software. The file

            WP4-HANZE-MD-I-011-v01-D-Scenarios_iteration_1.doc

shows the assignment the groups received at the start of their projects:

- "WSO2 testdrive" was done by groups 1 and 3

- "Proof of concept Collaborative agent network" was done by group 5

- "Testdrive GOVI was done by groups 2 and 4

- "OV-buddy tablet app" will be done later

 

During the projects info was obtained that is relevant for the Data Maturity Model of WP4x. The file

            I1_input_for_DataMaturityModel.txt

references this info.

 

These 5 projects are nice examples of what we can accomplish as ITRACT. Students from Hanze and from other universities are very capable of performing good research and producing good quality products. Two of the demos were so good that OV-Bureau (Region NL) agreed to invest in some hardware (a smartphone and a tablet PC) so that we can keep these demos and for example show them in Stavanger. I’m currently discussing with Hanze how we can arrange using (groups of) students to implement part of the pilots (so directly for WP5, not via WP4).


More on WP4 from KAU including updated documentation


© Jan Frick 2014